Abbott Actively Undermines Texas’ Ability to Grow and Welcome

December 19, 2023

Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today denounced the actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott to sign two new state bills into law that will charge migrants seeking safety in the United States a state crime, encourage additional border wall construction, and attempt to empower the state to deport asylum seekers. The move, which is not only ineffective and unconstitutional but actively harmful to Texan communities, will take effect in March. CWS, who has championed the contributions of new neighbors, in Texas and beyond, decried the enactment and called on faith and business communities to urge the governor to reverse the new laws.

“For Governor Abbott to turn his back on the proud tradition of welcoming the stranger—a move designed only to solidify his political credentials—not only contradicts his state’s history of being inclusive, but federal law and the constitution. People from around the world have sought the United States, and Texas, as a place of refuge, a place where they could let their children grow in peace, where they could start businesses, be neighbors and community members.These laws will only ostracize those seeking safety, undermine our cities and betray our commitment to building a better world,” said Danilo Zak, Associate Director of Policy and Advocacy at Church World Service. “Sadly, beyond the terrible damage this law will have on those who are displaced, this will happen at the expense of American communities. Congress and the Biden administration continue to barter for a legislative deal that would offer draconian asylum restrictions for unrelated foreign spending. It is imperative that the administration intervenes, both by taking legal action to halt Abbott’s unconstitutional border laws and by refusing to engage in any negotiations that would treat asylum seekers as political bargaining chips.”

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